1. You Can’t Say You Can’t Play by Vivian Gussin Paley
A book every elementary teacher should read! Actually all teachers should read it.  I am going to try and share one or two books a day that have really changed my teaching for the next couple weeks. Message me if you have books I should add.
Summery:

Who of us cannot remember the pain and humiliation of being rejected by our classmates? However thick-skinned or immune to such assaults we may become as adults, the memory of those early exclusions is as palpable to each of us today as it is common to human experience. We remember the uncertainty of separating from our home and entering school as strangers and, more than the relief of making friends, we recall the cruel moments of our own isolation as well as those children we knew were destined to remain strangers. In this book Vivian Paley employs a unique strategy to probe the moral dimensions of the classroom. She departs from her previous work by extending her analysis to children through the fifth grade, all the while weaving remarkable fairy tale into her narrative description. Paley introduces a new rule—“You can’t say you can’t play”—to her kindergarten classroom and solicits the opinions of older children regarding the fairness of such a rule. We hear from those who are rejected as well as those who do the rejecting. One child, objecting to the rule, says, “It will be fairer, but how are we going to have any fun?” Another child defends the principle of classroom bosses as a more benign way of excluding the unwanted. In a brilliant twist, Paley mixes fantasy and reality, and introduces a new voice into the debate: Magpie, a magical bird, who brings lonely people to a place where a full share of the sun is rightfully theirs. Myth and morality begin to proclaim the same message and the schoolhouse will be the crucible in which the new order is tried. A struggle ensues and even the Magpie stories cannot avoid the scrutiny of this merciless pack of social philosophers who will not be easily caught in a morality tale. You Can’t Say You Can’t Play speaks to some of our most deeply held beliefs. Is exclusivity part of human nature? Can we legislate fairness and still nurture creativity and individuality? Can children be freed from the habit of rejection? These are some of the questions. The answers are to be found in the words of Paley’s schoolchildren and in the wisdom of their teacher who respectfully listens to them.

    You Can’t Say You Can’t Play by Vivian Gussin Paley

    A book every elementary teacher should read! Actually all teachers should read it.  I am going to try and share one or two books a day that have really changed my teaching for the next couple weeks. Message me if you have books I should add.

    Summery:

    Who of us cannot remember the pain and humiliation of being rejected by our classmates? However thick-skinned or immune to such assaults we may become as adults, the memory of those early exclusions is as palpable to each of us today as it is common to human experience. We remember the uncertainty of separating from our home and entering school as strangers and, more than the relief of making friends, we recall the cruel moments of our own isolation as well as those children we knew were destined to remain strangers. In this book Vivian Paley employs a unique strategy to probe the moral dimensions of the classroom. She departs from her previous work by extending her analysis to children through the fifth grade, all the while weaving remarkable fairy tale into her narrative description. Paley introduces a new rule—“You can’t say you can’t play”—to her kindergarten classroom and solicits the opinions of older children regarding the fairness of such a rule. We hear from those who are rejected as well as those who do the rejecting. One child, objecting to the rule, says, “It will be fairer, but how are we going to have any fun?” Another child defends the principle of classroom bosses as a more benign way of excluding the unwanted. In a brilliant twist, Paley mixes fantasy and reality, and introduces a new voice into the debate: Magpie, a magical bird, who brings lonely people to a place where a full share of the sun is rightfully theirs. Myth and morality begin to proclaim the same message and the schoolhouse will be the crucible in which the new order is tried. A struggle ensues and even the Magpie stories cannot avoid the scrutiny of this merciless pack of social philosophers who will not be easily caught in a morality tale. You Can’t Say You Can’t Play speaks to some of our most deeply held beliefs. Is exclusivity part of human nature? Can we legislate fairness and still nurture creativity and individuality? Can children be freed from the habit of rejection? These are some of the questions. The answers are to be found in the words of Paley’s schoolchildren and in the wisdom of their teacher who respectfully listens to them.

  2. “Bullying Is Student Voice” (Guest Post by Adam Fletcher) « Cooperative Catalyst

    In a lot of educators’ minds, “student voice” only happens when adults direct learners to share their thoughts in ways that are acceptable in schools. Whether embedded in the curriculum, listened to through adult-led student forums, or guided in carefully moderated websites, student voice is often painted as the cuddly, friendly, and convenient precursor to “student engagement.”

    However, after more than a decade of working with schools across the US and Canada to promote Meaningful Student Involvement throughout the education system, I have discovered that student voice is a multifaceted reality that occurs throughout schools, all the time. Today I define student voice as any expression of any learner about any facet of education. It is shared by the kid who runs out in the hallway after class and scribbles “Mrs Jones Sux!”, as well as the student government president who writes a letter to the editor of the local newspaper. Its the girls texting answers to the test under the desk, as well as the debate team captain speaking in at the mock government event.

    This shows us how bullying is clearly an expression of student voice. While inconvenient and disconcerting, approaching bullying from this understanding can allow educators to discern the genuine source of why bullying happens. Repressed actions, ideas, knowledge, and beliefs need an appropriate outlet, and schools are positioned to engage both young people and adults in learning through Meaningful Student Involvement.

    Learn more about this from the new SoundOut Focus Paper, Student Voice and Bullying. Its available online at http://tinyurl.com/9oxohjc

  3. theatlantic:

Internet Donates More Than $200,000 For Bullied Bus Monitor

Since yesterday’s feel-bad-feel-good story started went viral on Reddit, it’s blossomed overnight, and caught fire with major news outlets, leading 68-year-old bus monitor Karen Klein to make appearances on Today and Fox and Friends this morning.
Her interview with Matt Lauer wasn’t the smoothest conversation, but Klein acknowledged the many Facebook messages and outpouring of support, and talks about how her bullies have teased her before. She also had a message for her bullies’ parents: “I’m sorry that your sons acted the way they did. I’m sure they don’t act that way at home. But you never know what they’re gonna do when they’re out of the house. The should have been taught to respect their elders.”
Read more at The Atlantic Wire. [Image: NBC]


While I would never support bullying in any form. I think the reaction to this is sad. We have villainized the students, called them names, and used it as a way to create an even wider generation gap. Matt Lauer called the students “narrow minded monsters”. I was livid when I heard this. Of course the students are bullies and cruel, but are they “narrow minded monsters”, NO! Are they products of our society, yes.  The reaction showcases for me, how poorly we understand each other, our schools, and our youth. It also will not stop actions like this by making them villains or by just focusing on their actions alone, punishing them or embarrassing them will do little. This is not just about a lack of respect for elders, it is a disrespect that we show for each other. Where in this world do we model respect? Not in Schools, Not in the media, not in our government. We treat both children and elders with little respect. Yet we expect them to be respectful and empathetic. We learn to be respectful by being respected. We learn by living and learning in a culture of respect.  
I think we need to look deeper. We need to look into ourselves and ask how we help to support actions like this. We can not punish bullying away.  We can not lecture bullying away. We embarrass bullying away.
The only way to get rid of bullying is to create environments of love and respect, of listening, of empathy. Where we have the time and space to deal with our mistakes and fears. To deal with our insecurities,  and our own personal growth.
Until then we will have more news pieces like this, or like the student who was bullied by his teachers (see video of hidden camera shared by upset Dad)… we will have stories of kids committing suicide  etc.
While schools do not cause these types of stories, I don’t believe they help to encourage many of the things that stop it.
Just my two cents
-Adventures in Learning

    theatlantic:

    Internet Donates More Than $200,000 For Bullied Bus Monitor

    Since yesterday’s feel-bad-feel-good story started went viral on Reddit, it’s blossomed overnight, and caught fire with major news outlets, leading 68-year-old bus monitor Karen Klein to make appearances on Today and Fox and Friends this morning.

    Her interview with Matt Lauer wasn’t the smoothest conversation, but Klein acknowledged the many Facebook messages and outpouring of support, and talks about how her bullies have teased her before. She also had a message for her bullies’ parents: “I’m sorry that your sons acted the way they did. I’m sure they don’t act that way at home. But you never know what they’re gonna do when they’re out of the house. The should have been taught to respect their elders.”

    Read more at The Atlantic Wire. [Image: NBC]

    While I would never support bullying in any form. I think the reaction to this is sad. We have villainized the students, called them names, and used it as a way to create an even wider generation gap. Matt Lauer called the students “narrow minded monsters”. I was livid when I heard this. Of course the students are bullies and cruel, but are they “narrow minded monsters”, NO! Are they products of our society, yes.  The reaction showcases for me, how poorly we understand each other, our schools, and our youth. It also will not stop actions like this by making them villains or by just focusing on their actions alone, punishing them or embarrassing them will do little. This is not just about a lack of respect for elders, it is a disrespect that we show for each other. Where in this world do we model respect? Not in Schools, Not in the media, not in our government. We treat both children and elders with little respect. Yet we expect them to be respectful and empathetic. We learn to be respectful by being respected. We learn by living and learning in a culture of respect. 

    I think we need to look deeper. We need to look into ourselves and ask how we help to support actions like this. We can not punish bullying away.  We can not lecture bullying away. We embarrass bullying away.

    The only way to get rid of bullying is to create environments of love and respect, of listening, of empathy. Where we have the time and space to deal with our mistakes and fears. To deal with our insecurities,  and our own personal growth.

    Until then we will have more news pieces like this, or like the student who was bullied by his teachers (see video of hidden camera shared by upset Dad)… we will have stories of kids committing suicide  etc.

    While schools do not cause these types of stories, I don’t believe they help to encourage many of the things that stop it.

    Just my two cents

    -Adventures in Learning

    Reblogged from: theatlantic

Adventures in Learning

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